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Estate of Gurmit Singh, Paramjit v. City of Gilroy

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA SAN JOSE DIVISION


May 31, 2012

ESTATE OF GURMIT SINGH, PARAMJIT
KAUR, S.K., A MINOR, BY AND THROUGH HER GUARDIAN AD LITEM, PARAMJIT KAUR, AND A. S., A 18 MINOR, BY AND THROUGH HIS GUARDIAN AD LITEM, PARAMJIT KAUR,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CITY OF GILROY, OFFICER RODRIGUEZ, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS A POLICE OFFICER FOR THE CITY OF GILROY, AND DOES 1 THROUGH 50,

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Edward Davila United States District Judge

AMENDED (PROPOSED) ORDER APPROVING PETITION TO COMPROMISE CLAIM OF MINORS

Plaintiff PARAMJIT KAUR's Petition to Compromise Claim of Minors came before the Honorable Edward Davila, presiding.

1. Petitioner is the mother and regularly appointed Guardian ad Litem of Plaintiffs, S.K. and A.S., both minors, in this action. 3

2. Plaintiff S.K. is a nine-year-old, born */*/****..

3. Plaintiff A.S. is an eight-year-old, born */*/****.

4. Plaintiffs, S.K. and A.S., have a claim for damages arising out of the shooting death of their father, Gurmit Singh, on February 8, 2008, by members of the Gilroy Police Department. 8

5. This matter was tried before a jury in the above-entitled court, and a verdict was rendered in favor of the plaintiffs against defendant Rodriguez and the City of Gilroy in the amount 10 of $1,275,000. A copy of the verdict form is attached as Exhibit A to this petition. The jury also 11 found that plaintiffs' decedent, Gurmit Singh, was 50% responsible for his death as to plaintiffs' 12 13 negligence cause of action.

6. Subsequent to the jury's verdict, and prior to the defendants filing a post-trial motion to reduce the verdict by 50% due to plaintiffs' decedent's comparative fault, the parties 16 held a mediation with Charles Hawkins on May 1, 2012. During the course of the mediation, the 17 parties agreed to resolve not only plaintiffs' claim for damages, but plaintiffs' attorneys' claim for 18 attorneys' fees and costs. 19 20

7. Plaintiff has represented that Defendants have offered to pay one million dollars to the minor plaintiffs and their mother in consideration of a dismissal with prejudice and a full release in this matter. If the settlement is approved by this Court, the money will be allocated as 23 follows: 24 (a) $900,000 to plaintiff Paramjit Kaur.

(b) $100,000 to Plaintiffs S.K. and A.S. to be divided equally and to be placed into 26 an annuity, calling for periodic payments. A true and correct copy of a letter from Ringler 27 28 Associates summarizing the terms of the annuities is attached hereto.

will be used by plaintiff Paramjit Kaur to raise her children and, hopefully, to purchase a home. 3

8. According to agreement of the parties, the remaining $900,000 of the settlement

9. Petitioner engaged the law firm of Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook and the Law Offices of Karen Snell to represent plaintiffs in this matter. The Contingency Retainer 5 6

Agreement provides:

It is possible that attorneys may be entitled to an award of attorneys' fees related to the prosecution of this lawsuit. The attorneys may also be entitled to negotiate a settlement of their entitlement to attorneys' fees in addition to a settlement for the client. The attorneys shall have the option of electing to recover a percentage of the full recovery, or court awarded fees or separately negotiated entitlement to fees, whichever is greater.

10. Plaintiffs' attorneys were not recommended to Petitioner by defendants, and Plaintiffs' attorneys have no business or other relationship with defendants and will receive no 14 other compensation for their services except as described in this Petition. 15 16 17 counsel and defendants separately negotiated plaintiffs' attorneys' entitlement to fees. The parties agreed that in addition to the $1,000,000 in damages to be paid to plaintiffs, defendants 19 will pay plaintiffs' counsel of record in this matter fees in the amount of $1,000,000. This 20 number is based on the actual work performed by the attorneys. Plaintiffs' attorneys have 21 spent more than 2500 hours litigating this matter. The law firm of Casper, Meadows, Schwartz 22 11. Petitioner is informed and believes and on this basis alleges that plaintiffs' & Cook and the Law Offices of Karen L. Snell are attorneys of record for Plaintiffs in this 23 24 matter. Should the Court approve the settlement, defendants would issue a check for $1,000,000 to the law firm of Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook, which would be distributed 26 by that firm to all of the counsel of record in this matter as payment in full of their attorneys' 27 fees.

12. In addition, defendants have agreed to reimburse the law firm of Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook $133,000 for costs incurred in prosecuting this matter, the remainder to revert to 3 the plaintiffs. To date, costs total approximately $133,000. Should the Court approve the 4 settlement, defendants will issue a second check for total costs incurred in the amount of $133,000 5 6 made payable to Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook.

13. Petitioner recommends this settlement to the Court as being fair and reasonable,

8 and in the best interests of the minors. Petitioner understands that if the proposed settlement is 9 approved, plaintiffs will be barred from seeking further compensation in the future. 10

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED THAT:

1. The settlement on behalf of S.K. and A.S. is hereby approved.

2. Defendants are hereby authorized and directed to pay to plaintiff Paramjit Kaur the amount of $900,000.

3. The Defendants are hereby authorized and directed to pay through Ringler Associates the sum of $100,000 for the purchase of annuities for the benefit of S.K. and A.S. as 17 set forth in the Petition and Exhibit "B" attached thereto. 18

4. Defendants are hereby authorized and directed to pay the law firm of Casper,

Meadows, Schwartz & Cook, attorneys' fees in the amount of $1,000,000, which will be distributed by that firm to all of the counsel of record in this matter as payment in full of their attorney's fees. In addition, Defendants will issue a check for total costs incurred in the 23 amount of $133,000 made payable to Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook. 24 25

20120531

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